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Microchip law to help tackle problem of Britain's abandoned horses


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Source: Xinhua    2018-06-26 05:16:52

LONDON, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Around 1,000 horses were abandoned by their owners in Britain last year, the government said Monday as it introduced a new law to tackle the mistreatment of the animals.

The new law will make it mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys, said the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A new Central Equine Database will allow local authorities and police to track down owners of dumped horses and make sure they are punished and the animals are given the care they deserve. It will also mean lost or stolen horses will be reunited with their owners more easily.

Recent figures from the animal charity, RSCPA, showed they rescued around 1,000 horses in 2017, highlighting the issue of horses being fly-tipped or dumped, often in horrific conditions.

Lord Gardiner, Animal Welfare Minister, said: "The government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare and it is completely unacceptable that hundreds of horses and ponies are left abandoned every year by irresponsible owners."

"That is why we have today laid new regulations in Parliament requiring all horses to be microchipped by October 2020. This will bolster the ability of local authorities and police to identify abandoned animals, ensuring these beautiful creatures receive the care they deserve and that those who mistreat them will face the consequences."

Jeanette Allen, chair of the British Horse Council, said: "This huge advance for the UK's horses, ponies and donkeys will not only enable irresponsible owners to be held properly accountable for the treatment of their animal, it will also aid in reuniting owners with lost or stolen horses and significantly supports the UK's efforts to protect our equines from disease outbreaks."

Horse owners failing to microchip their horses by October 2020 face sanctions including a fine of up to 265 U.S. dollars. In Britain, the law already requires dogs to be microchipped.


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